The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

Mistaken Identity Leads to Lawsuit Against Seaford Police

A case of mistaken identity is now leading to a lawsuit against the Seaford Police Department, reports NBC Philadelphia.

A man in Dagsboro has filed suit alleging that two police officers violated his rights in a traffic stop in 2011, when they thought he was someone else. Reginald Johnson claims that he was shocked with an electric stun gun.

The entire incident was caught on Dash Cam. The officers are seen stopping Johnson and asking him to exit the vehicle. They are then seen threatening him with tazing: "We'll taze you!"

Once Johnson stepped out of the car, the officer hit him with a stun gun, despite Johnson’s protests that he did nothing wrong. In the video, Johnson cries out in pain as he is hit with the gun.

Johnson is then arrested and charged with disorderly conduct as well as resisting arrest — two charges that did not stick.

Johnson is being represented by Lancaster personal injury attorney, Daniel Herr. “The video does speak for itself,” Herr told NBC Philadelphia.

Why the case of mistaken identity in the first place? According to WBOC News, a police tracking device went off as Johnson drove by the officers. The tracking device was set off by Johnson’s cellphone, indicating that it was the phone of a “wanted felon.”

Once officers realized that they may have apprehended the wrong person, one officer was heard joking in the video, saying “somebody drop the dope in here.”

Officers later admitted that Johnson was not the man they were seeking. He nevertheless suffered injuries and was treated at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital for his injuries. Johnson is now seeking damages for both physical and psychological injuries that he sustained as a result of the false arrest.

His lawsuit is being brought in federal court. There’s no word on the amount of damages he is seeking, but it’s fair to assume that medical expenses and loss of wages can be factored into the equation.

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